03 May 2015

Calgary Chamber of Commerce not afraid of the socialist hordes

Chambers of Commerce are not the greatest fans of social democratic political parties. And the Calgary chamber is not the greatest fan of the Alberta NDP. But neither is it particularly hostile. On the contrary, it had some nice things to say after NDP leader Rachel Notley addressed its members last week in the run-up to the May 5th election.

The chamber did not approve of the NDP's proposal to raise corporate taxes or to review the oil and gas royalty regime. No surprise there. But they did approve of some of its policies, including its recognition of challenges in the agricultural sector, proper funding for the Auditor General's office, and in-province refining and upgrading of oil and gas. The chamber's policy director, Justin Smith, said the meeting was positive and the two sides agreed to disagree on issues such as the corporate tax hike.

Interestingly, some of the things they liked about the Conservative platform would fit comfortably with NDP policies, such as a more progressive income tax, more savings in the Heritage Fund, and continued investment in infrastructure.

All in all, there appears to be a mutual respect which bears well for a more open and mature Alberta politics.

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